The Xbox controller is the de facto standard controller for PC gaming, so of course Steam supports it pretty well. But there are newer variants with more tricks up their sleeve that PC gamers have been eager to try out. The latest beta of the Steam client has them covered, enabling support for the Xbox Series X and Elite 2 pads.
In patch notes posted earlier this week, the beta update for Steam added support for the Xbox Elite’s programmable rear controller paddles. These add-ons for your ring and pinky finger can only be bound to other controller buttons in the official Xbox Accessories app, but Steam’s Big Picture Mode will allow players to bind them to more or less any input or macro. The latest update also adds support for the new “Share” button on the slightly tweaked controller for the Xbox Series X and Series S, as well as trigger rumble in games that use the Windows.Gaming.Input API.
There are a few other changes as well. Now you can use more than four Xbox controllers at once, for those few games that support so many co-op players, and there’s an option to more granularly control the LED on the new PS5 DualSense controller. Support for the Wooting Two analog optical keyboard has been added, along with better management of non-standard inputs like the Logitech G15 or HOTAS (hands on stick and throttle) controllers.
To enable the latest Steam beta, go to Steam>Settings, then on the Account tab, enable beta participation. You’ll have to go into the Steam Big Picture Mode and go to Settings>Controller Settings to enable the new Xbox Extended Feature Support, which requires a full PC reboot to take effect.